Sunday Open Thread

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    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 297 (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:11:11 PM EST
    Christ almighty, this Jesus guy has soul! (link)

    vol. 296
    vol. 295
    vol. 294
    vol. 293

    Happy Sunday, my friends. I think my meds are starting to settle in again. Worse things could happen. ;-)

    Because of the ACA (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by ZtoA on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:19:48 AM EST
    places like Central City Concern can exist and expand. CCC provides over 180 living units, and a full array of medical and dental services.
    They monitor medications from the onsite pharmacy and has counselors and job help available. It really is a state of the art helping facility - setting a new standard for the country. Recently they called for art - mostly collector donated - of Portland artists, all of whom are well known in the region. And the arts community responded fantastically! The CCC facility now looks bright and colorful. It was curated by the Portland Art Museum curator of NW art, with assistance from the newly retired prof of art history and museum curator at the UofO.

    I agree that CCC looks like a wonderful place (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:13:14 AM EST
    and a model for other communities.

    It has been in existence since 1979

    Central City Concern (CCC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency serving single adults and families in the Portland metro area who are impacted by homelessness, poverty and addictions. Founded in 1979, the agency has developed a comprehensive continuum of affordable housing options integrated with direct social services including healthcare, recovery and employment. CCC currently has a staff of 600+, an annual operating budget of $47 million and serves more than 13,000 individuals annually.

    From what I can gather, CCC receives a great deal of its funding from State and Federal Grants. While the expansion of Medicaid may provide additional reimbursement for medical treatment, I do think it is a stretch to credit ACA for the existence of CCC.  


    I am very familiar with Central City Concern. (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:43:46 AM EST
    As both ZtoA and MO Blue have said, it is an excellent organization doing just a terrific job in Portland. That said, I do not think the ACA will have much impact on the work of CCC.

    CCC deals with people who are very poor, many homeless and/or addicted. Most of their clientele qualified for the Oregon Health Plan (Oregon's Medicaid plan) before the ACA. Expanding the OHP pool to include those higher up on the income scale will not have that great an impact on CCC as the agency does not serve those with higher incomes.

    It will have some impact. People eligible for the OHP will no longer have their health insurance fate subject to a lottery. Before ACA, each year everyone in the state who was eligible for the OHP and chose to apply was put into a lottery because funds were limited, and there were more eligible people than there were spots in the OHP. It really was luck of the draw.

    CCC, however, was going strong before the ACA. If by some bizarre convergence of political events the ACA were repealed, and let me say I do not think that will happen, CCC would be fine. Its existence would in no way be jeopardized.


    Actually the CCC (none / 0) (#49)
    by ZtoA on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:49:20 PM EST
    received a large grant thru the ACA to help establish the new (2011) Recovery Center on Burnside (and Broadway) It has mental, medical, dental services and a pharmacy. It was built in the footprint of an old burger king. The director said the ACA grant helped build the three story building which has the capacity at some point to accommodate 5 more stories by providing 8.9 million to the 12 million project and the president awarded it to the director himself.

    Actually, I believe that money came from (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:07:17 PM EST
    federal stimulus funds, not from the ACA. The work of building the Recovery Center was completed before the ACA even took effect.

    This from the 12/14/2011 Oregonian:

    Construction began in November 2010, after the Burger King, considered an eyesore by many, that stood on the lot was demolished. Central City Concern received a nearly $9 million federal grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to build the three-floor structure, which is connected by hallways to the Old Town Clinic, an operation also owned by the nonprofit.

    I don't mean to belabor this point, but I think it important to bolster arguments with accurate information. My googling did not find any reference to the ACA in articles about Recovery Center funding. The stimulus was known by its acronym ARRA. Is it possible the person who told ZtoA about the funding simply got the acronym wrong?


    It is possible (none / 0) (#60)
    by ZtoA on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:08:27 PM EST
    I got it wrong. The person I heard it from is the executive director. He linked it to the ACA and the support/development of community health centers. Actually I had quite a number of friends in the room at the opening event, and at least two other also thought he made a direct connection between the ACA and the grant received.

    Have you seen the new facility recently caseyOR? It is very beautiful and thoughtfully designed. The deep support by the arts community was wonderful to see, and so far the clients seem very happy about all the art.

    I'll ask one of the organizers about the sources of funding for this new facility. I've just sent her an email and will let you know.


    The director, Ed Blackburn, knows his stuff. It (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:10:57 PM EST
    would be unlike him to get a fact like this wrong. I am wondering if CCC is getting funding for the operation of the clinic through the community health center part of the ACA. That would make more sense than getting construction money.

    That seems like the right conclusion (none / 0) (#97)
    by shoephone on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:40:20 PM EST
    Yes, I enjoyed meeting him (none / 0) (#118)
    by ZtoA on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:00:02 PM EST
    and the staff enormously. You're probably right and I mixed up my acronyms. Odd, because a number of others did too. But no matter, the facility is beautiful and needed and has great community support.

    I have seen it. It is a beautiful facility, such a (none / 0) (#69)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:05:00 PM EST
    departure from the many rather down and out looking places that serve the homeless and the poor and the addicted.

    I remember when the clinic was a grimy storefront filled with old seemingly salvaged furniture. And the art, for the most part, consisted of posters warning about infectious diseases.

    The new place is a huge step forward.


    The support of the art community (none / 0) (#89)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:16:39 PM EST
    was wonderful. I went on-line and looked at the art installation and was impressed with the variety and quality of the work I saw.

    It is wonderful to see that such an attractive facility is being used to help treat the homeless in your community.

    Great job by all involved.


    Based on all available data, I do not think the (none / 0) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:46:07 PM EST
    grant came from ACA.

    The project was made possible by an initial $8.95 million investment federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Facility Investment Program (FIP) grant administered through Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). link

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub.L. 111-5), commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, was an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 and signed into law on February 17, 2009, by President Barack Obama. link

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA),[1][2] commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or "Obamacare",[3] is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act,[4] it represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.[5] link

    Once again, CCC appears to be a great program/facility and Seattle should be proud of what they have achieved. The establishment of the Recovery Center on Burnside was aided by a law signed by President Obama in 2009 (which is wonderful) but not by ACA which was signed in March, 2010.


    Correction (none / 0) (#68)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:54:49 PM EST
    Location of CCC is Portland and not Seattle.

    Interesting Salon piece... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:37:17 AM EST
    Here's another interesting Salon piece... (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by desertswine on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:53:29 PM EST
    35 countries where the U.S. has supported fascists, drug lords and terrorists
    More than I would have thought, it seems.

    Forget Hillary, Liz Warren for President!! (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:39:50 AM EST
    Sen. Warren's said repeatedly that ... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:10:37 PM EST
    ... she's not running for president, nor is she making any of the necessary moves to that effect. Some people won't take no for an answer.



    What does that have (none / 0) (#70)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:08:21 PM EST
    to do with anything. People have fantasy football teams, why not have fantasy candidates that would be worth voting for?

    And if you never speak out about your fantasy candidates you deserve to get the same old sludge.



    Squash? (none / 0) (#73)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:14:14 PM EST
    What does that have to do with anything.

    Seems to me that Donald's comment with its respective emoticon has everything to do with Dadler's comment.

    Are you in a comment squashing mood?


    What are you TALKING about? (none / 0) (#79)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:33:51 PM EST
    Obvious, No? (none / 0) (#81)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:37:27 PM EST
    Donald responded to Dadler that he was sorry that Elizabeth Warren was not running...  

    You squashed his comment with a ridiculous question (no question mark) asking what dose Donald's comment have to do with anything.

    Seemed extremely direct response to Dadler, imo.

    Yours seemed odd, as if you were mad at Donald, or something.
    Non-sequitur at best..


    Donald said he was sorry Liz (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:48:13 PM EST
    Warren wasn't running?  Where did he do that?

    You're right. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:45:52 PM EST
    I didn't say I was sorry that Sen. Warren isn't running for president, because I really didn't think I needed to do so. And as of this writing, she's not running and furthermore, she's said as much repeatedly.

    Therefore, why should I be sorry because Warren's not doing what she said doesn't want to do? I've simply taken her at her word, and moved on.

    Aloha. ;-D


    Politicians often change their minds (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:09:43 PM EST
    IIRC in 2004 a certain Senator said he had ruled out running for president in 2008.

    But that certain senator's own actions ... (none / 0) (#96)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:37:17 PM EST
    ... actually belied his words, because at the time he spoke them, he was actively engaged in the planning of his prospective campaign and it was an open secret that his eyes were on the White House.

    (The Spouse and I organized a December 2004 fundraiser for that certain senator when he and his family returned to Honolulu for the holidays, and I can assure you that even before he was sworn in as a U.S. senator, he was already laying the groundwork for a White House run. The same thing currently goes for his former Secretary of State, who politely says "No, no" while her organizing activities scream, "Hell, yeah, I'm running!")

    Conversely, I see very little or no evidence that Sen. Warren is doing the same.



    To be accurate (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:54:44 PM EST
    The former Secretary of State, unlike Sen. Obama in 2004, is not saying "No, no." She is saying she has not made up her mind.

    Dec. 18, 2013.

    Discussing the number one question on interviewers list to Hillary Clinton, Clinton told Walters; "I haven't made up my mind. Obviously, I will look carefully at what I think I can do and make that decision sometime next year." Continuing the former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State expressed; "It's such a difficult decision, and it's one that I'm not going to rush into ... and I don't think we should be looking at the next election."

    You're right. (none / 0) (#103)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:23:38 PM EST
    I stand corrected.

    Emoticon (none / 0) (#123)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:46:07 PM EST
    ;-D   means tears...  I guess Donald inadvertently used the emoticon for tears...  semi-colon..    could also be ;-

    Obvious, no! (none / 0) (#85)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:54:50 PM EST
    Oh squeaky, that is not admiration that Donald is expressing. Bless your heart for being so generous. It is discouragement that Donald expresses nearly every time someone gives kudos to Senator Warren.

    As an "out" Democratic Party official, Donald supports declared candidates.


    Please don't put words in my mouth. (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:25:20 PM EST
    I'm sorry that I even have to explain this. Sen. Warren is not running for president. Further, she's said so repeatedly. If she had said otherwise, that would be great, because I believe that she could be a wonderful candidate.

    But she hasn't. And personally, I'm very pragmatic when it comes to politics, in that I find it a complete waste of my time to be wishing and hoping for something that in all likelihood isn't going to happen.

    I think people need to be reminded every once in a while that not everyone in public life aspires to seek even higher office, even if they are more than qualified for that next level. And when we refuse to take their public statements to that effect at face value, then we're really not respecting them as individuals. Rather, we're clearly putting our own interests and feelings ahead of theirs, as though we see them as little more than a vehicle through which we can channel our own personal desires and concerns.

    Running for public office requires a tremendous amount of personal commitment and effort, not only on the part of the prospective candidate but also his or her loved ones. And you better really and truly want it, if you harbor any thoughts and / or illusions of success in that regard.

    In all my many years with the Democratic Party, I've watched too many otherwise good people get their arms twisted in public, and be talked into running for some public office against their better personal judgment.

    It's my considered observation based on experience that such people generally make lackluster and even lousy candidates, because deep down within themselves, their hearts really aren't in it.

    So, kudos to Sen. Warren for marching to the beat of her own drum. This is her decision to make, not ours.



    You realize (none / 0) (#98)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:50:45 PM EST
    that your extended comments aren't substantially different from my short hand.

    You support declared candidates.

    You discourage the practice of the public twisting the arms of good people who are talked into running against their own personal judgement. (along with a fair amount of yadda yadda about reminding people every once in awhile about something).

    I have no quarrel with either of these two perspectives.

    What I was commenting on, however was not either of those two things. I was commenting on the fact that you make  those discouraging comments to people who are having a "fantasy candidate" moment. You are not making them to someone who is in a position to twist anyone's arm.


    The guy Dadler linked to ... (none / 0) (#105)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:49:24 PM EST
    ... is the kind of pundit who's full of fantasy moments, which I find a waste of both time and bandwidth -- just like most of the crowd at The Huffington Post. Some of these guys are delusional, if they think that their online efforts can somehow compel Sen. Warren to take up the sword in 2016. As I said, that's her choice and not theirs.

    And while they like to talk the talk -- boy, can they talk the talk! -- were Ms. Warren to actually change her mind and toss her hat into the ring, I'll offer better than even odds that hardly a one of them will subsequently walk the walk and offer to go door to door on her behalf, or to organize a GOTV effort in their own precinct or district.

    Big talkers in politics are a dime a dozen, whether they're actually occupying public office or merely observing campaigns from afar as a vicarious form of entertainment. And as someone who's organized and run campaigns over the years, I've learned to spot the bigmouths early on and not pay all that much regard to what they say -- never mind having to depend on any of them to do something come crunch time. Frankly, I'd be happy if they simply show up at the polls to vote.



    Oh, just stop (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:11:17 PM EST
    There is not a d@mn thing wrong with fantasy moments. And speaking of bandwidth. You have been using a lot of it to "explain" ... something.

    Face it. You intended to rain on someone's parade. And then now you want to browbeat me into accepting your reasons for it.

    Frankly, I don't care about your reasons. I am no longer a Democratic Party official, or even a party member for that matter. And even if I were, I don't have to be willing to canvass neighborhoods in order to express approval of a statement that someone makes. And neither does anybody else.

    And as someone who's organized and run campaigns over the years, I've learned to spot the bigmouths early on and not pay all that much regard to what they say ...
    So is that what you think of Dadler? It must not be, because you certainly put a whole he!! of a lot of regard into dismissing a one line comment.  

    So save your judgements and scoldings for a committee meeting. All you're doing is proving my glib, one line comment was right on the money in the first place, and still annoying the cr@p out of me.

    Y'all have a nice day now.


    Indeed, check out the parentheticals in comment #96.

    And by that I mean this: (none / 0) (#84)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:50:09 PM EST
    Donald has been "squashing" Senator Warren admiration nearly every time it is expressed.

    Always with his little emoticon. He's like one of those people who ask if you meant to wear that shirt with those pants, and then say "Just kidding, you look great, pal."

    To be fair to Donald*, that admiration is often expressed in terms of a run for President, but I still wonder what the he!! is wrong with fantasy candidates.

    And by the way, I have no interest in being a lawyer; my deal is analyzing patterns and their exceptions. Professionally, it is to create a set of algorithms. But you can't just turn off the mind. Or, more accurately, I can't.

    * Donald, I was about to abbreviate your handle using the acronym. But the I realized the acronym was DFH which applies far more to me than it does to you. Anyway, I never noticed that before and it cracked me up.


    Agreed, you can't turn off the mind. (none / 0) (#102)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:20:37 PM EST
    But there's a big difference between fantasy and reality when it comes to practical politics. Personally, I think too many people, rather than allow themselves to be inspired by their hopes and dreams to act on behalf of their respective communities, instead use their political fantasies as an excuse to not act or sometimes not even vote, because lo and behold, everyone who's running for office somehow always fails to measure up to their expectations.

    Our country has historically suffered from lackluster candidates and low voter turnouts, most often because we say that there is no "us" in "them." Well, I would offer that in our present-day politics, there's no "us" in "me," and our current political discourse reflects that sort of self-centered view.

    We allowed a group of GOP operatives to steal the 2000 presidential election with ultimately disastrous consequences for our country, because all too many Democrats and Democratic voters saw Al Gore as somehow lacking in our eyes and not worth the effort. Thus, we couldn't even rouse ourselves to undertake any and all available countermeasures including taking to the streets, as people so often do elsewhere around the world in the face of such obvious political thuggery.

    Instead, we look to others to make things happen for us, i.e., Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama. And then, we're all too quick to criticize them when they don't live up to our supposed standards or necessarily do things the way we'd like to think that we'd do ourselves, if only we could put down the TV remote and get off our lazy derrieres.

    So, yeah, I readily admit that I'm not one to indulge political fantasies, whether they be my own or belong to others. I've got Democratic candidates to recruit for local state legislative and city council offices in my region, and I've got a "Get Out the Vote" effort to harness up and organize in my area in anticipation of statewide races for governor and U.S. senator. The reality on the ground takes up too much of my time.

    And that's my choice. What's yours?


    Excellent statement, Donald. (none / 0) (#104)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:26:07 PM EST
    Just excellent.  Your drawing the distinction in paragraph one is particularly compelling.  Thank you.

    Of COURSE there is! (none / 0) (#108)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:54:53 PM EST
    But there's a big difference between fantasy and reality when it comes to practical politics.
    Which is exactly what I've been saying! You keep treating comments such as Dadler's as if they were coming from an exploratory committee seeking to persuade a reluctant candidate. And then you've been dismissing them with supercilious statements such as the one that started this whole so-called discussion. Followed -- as always -- with that emoticon.

    Rather, Dadler is basically saying that this is what he would like to see coming from the mouths of Presidential candidates. I know I would like to see those sorts of things coming from the mouths of Presidential candidates.

    Then again, Dadler, I could be misreading you completely. If I am reading you wrongly, please let me know.

    As much as Don wants to argue, we're saying the same thing. He's just putting different spin on it than I am. But they are both just spins.

    So squeaky: who do you think is doing the squashin?


    who do you think is doing the squashin? (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:04:41 PM EST
    Elizabeth Warren

    Lordy (none / 0) (#112)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:21:03 PM EST
    Did you read any of my comments? I don't think anyone here who likes what she (or any other public figure, for that matter) has to to say is in the business of candidate recruitment.

    Do you?  Are you happy to have only declared candidates setting all the agendas and controlling the conversations? If so, bully for you. I, however, am not.


    A doggy fit? (none / 0) (#113)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:26:17 PM EST
    This is a bit risky for me to say (given our interactive history here) .... nonetheless, your comments seem loaded for bear here.  You support E. warren's wished-for candidacy (or so it seems.)  Good.  Others have pointed out that she has specifically declined to run.  So, where are we, then?

    ::headdesk:: No, not a doggy fit (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:39:37 PM EST
    Does nobody read for content anymore?
    You support E. warren's wished-for candidacy
    If a fit is involved it is a reading comprehension fit, because...wait for it... I never said that I was supporting a Warren candidacy!! In fact, I am most definitely not supporting a Warren candidacy because such a thing does not doesn't exist!! It is, in fact, a fantasy. Rather, I was joining Dadler in appreciating her comments on interest rate for student loans vs interest rate reserved for banks.

    Oh, that, and wishing Presidential candidates made such clear statements. Is that clear enough for you, or do you want to misrepresent that as well?


    My pointL: If it is fantasy, calm down. (none / 0) (#124)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:55:39 PM EST
    I don't see that point (none / 0) (#127)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:41:22 PM EST
    in your original comment at all. In fact, it isn't there.

    I just answered your question (none / 0) (#120)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:01:43 PM EST
    You're reading far too much into my simple answer.

    Okay (none / 0) (#122)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:10:30 PM EST
    I see what you're getting at. It is, however, unrelated to squeaky's original comment, so I didn't at first. So I guess my question was squeaky specific -- unwise in an open thread.

    ... the Great Lakes -- which collectively hold about 20% of the world's entire supply of fresh water -- are nearly completely frozen over. (Time magazine has provided a six-month time lapse of satellite imagery documenting the freeze of Lake Superior.)

    The meteorological phenomenon is generally seen as a tremendous boon for the environment, and scientists are saying that the freeze will greatly replenish the heretofore depleted water levels and fish stocks in the region, which were previously at their lowest levels in nearly a century.

    Tourism has also received a welcome boost in places such as Cornucopia, WI as thousands of people flock to see how Mother Nature has transformed the great sea caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Lake Superior into spectacular ice sculptures.

    But the big freeze is also creating a lot of havoc for those who've long relied on the Great Lakes' vast waterways as a means of shipping and transport, with the busy iron ore ports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI completely blockaded by the vast ice fields.

    Pretty amazing stuff. Aloha.

    It didn't happen without pix (none / 0) (#143)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:21:10 AM EST
    Stunning images of Niagara Falls confirm a picture is worth a thousand words



    Who knew? (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:26:42 PM EST
    Pro-life groups say the Girl Scouts are selling something else along with their Thin Mints: abortion.

    I had no idea that's what it was really about when I sold them (cough) years ago.

    When a cheerful, green-sashed third grader steps on the porch of the house next door, or rings the bell of the neighbor across the street, she's probably prepping her sales pitch, prepared to answer questions about the type of cookies she's selling, how much they cost or when they will arrive. She might be ready to tell the person who answers the door about the girls in her troop, the activities they will do with the funds they raise or the volunteer work they have already accomplished during the school year.

    One thing she is probably not prepared to discuss is abortion. But that's what some girls are hearing about from the person on the other side of the door thanks to conservative news outlets, anti-abortion action groups and a continuing campaign to paint the Girl Scouts as in bed with Planned Parenthood.

    Launched in 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA started as a single pack of girls in Savannah, Georgia, meeting in the hopes of getting out of their "isolated home environments and into community service and the open air." Founder Juliette Gordon Low, an artist and athlete, saw her personal mission in launching the troop as "to go on with my heart and soul, devoting all my energies to Girl Scouts, and heart and hand with them, we will make our lives and the lives of the future girls happy, healthy and holy."

    Since that first troop, tens of millions of girls have joined the scouts, forming friendships, earning badges for new skills and, of course, selling the Girl Scout cookies so ubiquitously linked in every person's mind with the organization. Beginning in 1917, when the first cookies were sold by an Oklahoma troop in a local high school as a service project, troops now sell approximately 200 million boxes per year, resulting in around $700 million in sales.

    It's through these cookie sales that anti-abortion groups are making their voices heard. Dubbing their effort "cookie-cott," abortion opponents have been urging allies to refuse to purchase cookies from any girl scout this year to show their opposition to what they perceive as the Girl Scouts' increasing support of people and advocacy groupswith ties, however tendentious, to abortion.

    The most recent in a long line of perceived offenses, and the one that spurred the latest cookie boycott, was the organization's alleged endorsement of Texas state senator Wendy Davis, who last June famously filibustered the state's new law that will close most of the abortion providers in Texas. The Girl Scouts' Twitter account tweeted a link to a Huffington Post Live segment discussing potential candidates for woman of the year for 2013. Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis was mentioned as a contender, as were singer Beyonce, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and even "the brave women on social media."

    Just one link to one three-minute video with a 30 second mention of Davis was enough constitute an "endorsement," according to abortion opponents, and justification enough to start the ball rolling for the boycott--or at least for this newest boycott.

    Glad I bought 10 boxes this year to support the Girl Scouts, although my waistline probably isn't that happy. Wish I could go buy more.

    Going to go back down to the nearest store (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by Zorba on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 08:32:48 PM EST
    tomorrow, where they were selling GS cookies today, and buy more, if they are still there.
    We already bought ten boxes, too, from the daughters of two sets of friends.  I'll buy more, if I still can.  Calories be d@mned, I'll throw them in the freeze or give them away, just to support those radical little feminists.    ;-)

    If you want to make sure your buck (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 09:12:38 PM EST
    has maximum bang, think about just making a cash donation.  I started doing that a few years ago - my husband and I sure don't need the calories and it's pure profit for the Girl Scouts.

    Local (2.00 / 2) (#186)
    by Mikado Cat on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:08:56 AM EST
    Girl scout when we bought our last batch included the option of buying cookies for the deployed military, zero calories. Designate so many boxes of your purchase and some other organization takes care of shipping them. I don't allow political wanks to choose my cookies.

    OTOH I saw a thought provoking image yesterday. A teenage girl is standing in a dejected pose and the thought bubble by her head says "my mother is going to kill me." Another thought bubble by her waist says the same thing.


    Seems like we have ACA wrong (2.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:46:52 PM EST
    and its really AAC, act like its affordable care.

    Affordable must be in the used car sense of 72 months of easy payments on a used car, it only looks like its cheaper to people who can't do math.

    Is there any demographic group that is getting healthcare now that wasn't getting it in some form before?

    How many net people have lost healthcare insurance?

    How much will the Obamacare tax have to be raised to force people who don't need or want health insurance to get a plan?

    actually (none / 0) (#138)
    by ZtoA on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 05:46:47 AM EST
    if I am a 'demographic' then, yes.

    I lost my state public option "uninsurable" insurance under the ACA, and altho I could not enroll in the ACA(^) the law did allow me to  get insurance directly.(^^)  

    So ^ not so great (lost a state public option), but ^^ pretty great at a saving'! It wasn't a huge savings, just a couple of hundred a month, but I can work with that. Others in my demographic have lost their old state options only to gain national or direct options which have proved very OK, Some saved, some paid a little more. My and my friends demographics have always been at the tenuous edge of being included in insurance coverage because of being our own boss and having preexisting issues. ACA is not perfect, and I was worried about that, but I am insured (not thru the exchanges, which I cannot use - but rather directly) and it is good insurance and saves me over $100 a month.


    Because I already (2.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:36:27 PM EST
    know all I need to know about Obamacare, its bad for the country, it costs me a LOT more for worse coverage, and it will get worse as accounting slight of hand can only hide some of the increased costs for a year or so.

    Just to make you happy I did a Google search on "is Obamacare bad" turns out the answer is yes.

    And if you google (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:54:05 PM EST
    "is Obamacare good" turns out the answer is yes.

    That is just how google works and not a definitive answer.


    Spring is coming (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:25:43 AM EST
    and that means the inmates are both getting restless and taking the initiative to deal with their spring fever.

    Something similar happened 2 years ago, but then it was the guy who got out, got into the woman's cell, had sex and almost made it all the way back to his cell.

    A union (none / 0) (#2)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:16:15 AM EST
    So, since you ... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Yman on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:34:40 AM EST
    ... (presumably) agree with the union's criticism of the ACA, can we also assume you agree with their support of a single-payer system?

    how about you (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:48:19 AM EST
    not presume what others think, and just give your opinion? There's no need to be so confrontational or demeaning in your comments.

    My opinion ... (5.00 / 7) (#6)
    by Yman on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:00:00 PM EST
    ... is that, given Abdul's history of attacking unions, he is not citing the union out of concern for the union or the well-being of its members - but is trolling.

    My opinion is also that - when conservative posters make specious allegations citing their opinion as fact or cite winger blogs/opinion pieces as factual evidence - their opinions are worthy of harsh criticism (aka "demeaning").


    Can you find a comment (none / 0) (#53)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:31:07 PM EST
    To a conservative here where you were not "demeaning"?

    Sure (none / 0) (#56)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:51:06 PM EST
    About the same frequency as when you find a conservative stating their opinion as an opinion and citing something other than a winger website as evidence.

    This is your biggest problem (none / 0) (#182)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:00:00 PM EST
    If I may be so bold...

    You disregard links because you decide that they are not credible.

    Why post then?

    If you're not going to glance at it then your follow up post is meaningless.  

    If you actually offered a point that'd be one thing( which to be fair you sometimes do) but too often you just snark and say the link is meaningless because of the source.  

    Where else would a view critical of your own come from?

    Open your mind Yman.  It might actually surprise you to read something that challenges your point of view.   I do it all the time.  It's too easy these days to read the same old Dogma day in and day out on your favorite sites.

    It's why I love TL so much.


    What are you talking about? (none / 0) (#185)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 06:34:21 AM EST
    I read the link.  My point had absolutely nothing to do with the link or the credibility of the link's source - which, BTW, is always an issue.

    If you're talking about the typical links to someone's opinion or a link to a winger website, then you would be absolutely correct.  I give them little to no weight.  Not sure why anyone would.


    My take of the comment (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:39:05 PM EST
    interchange, was that it was a reasonable presumption that the commenter agreed with the particular criticism of the Affordable Health Care Act he linked, especially since it was a labor union critique.  Yman's response, appeared to me, to be a probe for his alternative answer(s) or viewpoints as to the provision of health care or health insurance protection for the un- and under insured--rather than just another opportunity to jab ACA.

    Jeralyn, Yman was responding ... (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:44:10 PM EST
    ... to someone who has a very well-documented history -- by your own blog, no less -- of Democrat- and union-bashing in these threads, which some might consider a form of trolling. And as you yourself has said repeatedly, this is a Democratic-friendly site.

    I agree with Yman that Abdul's comment was certainly not offered out of concern for the Democratic Party, labor unions and their respective members, but was instead an attempt to bait people rather than engage them in a thoughtful discussion regarding the Affordable Care Act. IMHO, Yman's skepticism is warranted.

    Have a beautiful day. Aloha.


    Actually it was just one example (none / 0) (#11)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 11:47:12 PM EST

    Actually it was just one example of people losing health care arrangements they liked and could afford, from a source that would be credible to a Dem friendly audience.  That union and its members are (or at least were) no doubt largely Democratic friendly.  

    Frankly I never saw Jeralyn put fealty to party above factual reality.


    And what "factual reality" is that? (none / 0) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:04:43 PM EST
    Is it one that's based on, you know, actual facts and documented evidence -- or yours, by which you repeatedly answer the siren call of the GOP's professional echo chamber?

    Thanks for once again proving Yman's point.


    What is agreeable (none / 0) (#5)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 11:42:29 AM EST
    Is that the union and it's members are getting screwed by Obamacare.

    The best way to get a bad (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 11:26:48 PM EST
    law repealed is to strictly enforce it. Obama's plan seems closer to how you rip a phonebook in half, start with a few weaker sheets and tear slowly ripping apart one weak group after another until the stronger groups are isolated, then forced in one at a time.

    What people should have their eyes open to is that no matter how bad you think Obamacare is now, it will get worse as more people are forced into and its full effects start hitting wallets.

    What would be ideal is a wave of voter anger washing out all the Democrats, followed by second wave when the GOP fubars a fix that washes them out, and we get fresh minds in politics that don't owe their souls to somebody.

    "Full effects?" (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:26:57 AM EST
    Like what the family breadwinner will feel like when he/she is, maybe for the first time ever, protected by quality, affordable health insurance? And, bathing in the glow of satisfaction one feels when one fulfills his/her duty of providing security for the family, further enhanced by enrolling the rest of his/her family members in, heretofore impossible to attain, health coverage?

    And, yes, it will take time to fully implement, and, yes, there will be more "glitches" to fix, and, double yes, we can be certain there will be hordes of naysayer elitists like the ones you covet so pathetically, cursing and swearing and hoping for more failure and more pain. But, slowly, and, surely, millions of "hard working, struggling, "undeserving takers" will overcome every hardship your disgusting, immoral gang of ethnically lucky recipients of, as Warren Buffet calls them, "winners of the ethnic lottery," fail in their ultimate goal, establishing a permanent, subservient, immobile, underclass.

    Boy, won't that be depressing. Just imagine, America, actually, beginning to fulfill its destined roll as spelled out in the founding documents. And, all your kneeling at the feet of phony "job creators," all your gushing, kneecap kissing, and, all your efforts to perpetually increase the net worth of already fortunate takers on the backs of the real producers will be destined to fail.


    "afflrdable" and "quality"? (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:21:40 AM EST
    In my demographic and state, the cheapest plan available costs equivalent to 70 percent of my rent.  Even then, that plan has a huge deductible, roughly equal to the yearly premium itself.

    This is what you call "affordable"?

    Don't give me a line about how everyone will benefit or some similar bullsh*t.  No one is putting money in my pocket to cover these premiums.  Nor is there any great movement underway to up the income of ordinary working schlubs (like me) who have to contend not only with making sure the job is still there, but also dealing with constant employer downward pressure on those wages.

    And I don't even want to think about the holes in coverage this wonderful plan has.

    If you consider this program a good one, you're either delusional or in the business of selling insurance.


    Okay, let's not let our loathing for (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:51:37 AM EST
    all-things-Republican/conservative/Tea Party blind us to the reality that the ACA is most certainly not anything close to how you have described it, nor does it deserve to be elevated to the level of "fulfill(ing America)'s destined role as spelled out in its founding documents."

    Will it help some people?  No doubt.  And that's good.  I don't want to take anything away from that.  

    But let's not kid ourselves: the goal all along should have been making sure each and every one of us has affordable access to health care, not that we all be the proud owners of insurance policies that may or may not be what we need them to be.  Not least of concerns on the "affordability" aspect is that paying premiums is not where the cash outlay ends - it's where it begins.  Co-pays, deductibles, "cost-sharing," "balance billing," shrinking networks - these are all part of "affordability," too - and it doesn't do much good if, once you've paid your premiums, you have no money left for the rest of it, does it?

    A far better way, in my opinion, to take on people like the commenter to whom you responded is to find out what their alternative is - and if it's just "selling insurance across state lines" and "tort reform," you can rest assured they got nothin' - and you definitely can say that the ACA is better.


    Their plan does have another little goodie (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:13:36 AM EST
    It changes the number of hours that define full time employment from 30 hours to 40 hours. This will definitely reduce the number of employers who provide health care coverage to their employees.

    Perhaps so (none / 0) (#52)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:19:23 PM EST

    Even likely so.  OTOH, it will very likely see many 29 hour a week workers offered 39 hours a week.  We are also unlikely to see more companies like Target dumping employees to the exchanges.  

    Actually raising the hours to 40 (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:48:39 PM EST
    will allow companies like Target to dump more, not less, employees on the exchange.

    Do low income workers (none / 0) (#76)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:29:34 PM EST
    who buy into their employers insurance get subsidies? Also, since some employers would like to refuse women proper health coverage, wouldn't the exchanges be better?

    OT, thought of you when I read about (none / 0) (#78)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:32:58 PM EST
    the earthquake in N. Cali today. Was happy to read no one was hurt.

    Yeah, that was a weird quake (none / 0) (#156)
    by nycstray on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 12:31:13 PM EST
    6.8 or whatever it came out to be, is not a subtle quake . . . but it hit in just the right place I guess :)

    To the best of my knowledge this (none / 0) (#95)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:25:51 PM EST
    still applies

    Even if your employer offers coverage, you can opt to buy a plan on the exchange. However, you may not be eligible for a subsidy.

    Different variables were factored into the cost structure of the insurance legislation. Those included such things as how many people would be covered by the exchanges, the cost of the subsidies, how many would continue to have employee insurance and how much would be paid in penalties by those companies who would not provide coverage.

    Throwing a large number of additional people onto the exchange and eliminating the employer penalties would IMO change the cost of the legislation substantially. Can't see funding being increased anytime soon.    


    Target dumps (none / 0) (#140)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 08:43:22 AM EST

    Perhaps and perhaps not.  The cost per person of insurance coverage is the same regardless of the number of hours worked.  The more hours worked  lowers the cost per hour.  Remember many of these companies offered health care to even part timers pre-Obamacare.  

    Relaxing the Obamacare regulations that prompted the dumping should in no way increase dumping.


    Some Will Benefit? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:35:57 AM EST
    Will it help some people?  No doubt.  And that's good.  I don't want to take anything away from that.  

    But let's not kid ourselves

    Who are the some that you are referring to?  Rich people, poor people, middle, lower middle, upper middle?

    Has your health care choice improved or gotten worse?

    I have benefited big time. My insurance premiums have been cut in half and now I have prescription drugs (not that I use them), dental and eye care.

    The program that ZtoA mentioned, seems to be helping a lot of people, no?

    Okay, let's not let our loathing for all-things Republican/conservative/Tea Party blind us to the reality that the ACA is most certainly not anything close to how you have described it.

    And are you the ONE who is able to see the true reality of the ACA to date? Seems to me that your loathing for everything Obama/Democratic Party is possibly equal to or greater than your loathing for the GOPer, no?

    With Obamacare, It's All About the Numbers - But Don't Expect Anyone to Agree on Them

    The anti-Obamacare crowd will selectively seize on the most negative numbers possible to try to further discredit an already unpopular law; the pro-ACA crowd will selectively seize on the most positive numbers possible to show that the law is beginning to achieve its lofty goals.

    The reality likely will fall somewhere in between....

    The number of Americans without health insurance will decrease by several million in 2014 although millions more will remain uninsured--no big surprise, since all along it was expected to take as much as a decade to cover the bulk of the uninsured.  Sarah Kliff notes that in its most recent report, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office determined that "Over time, more people are expected to respond to the new coverage options, so enrollment is projected to increase sharply in 2015 and 2016 . . . Starting in 2017, between 24 million and 25 million people are expected to obtain coverage each year through exchanges, and roughly 80 percent of those enrollees are expected to receive subsidies for purchasing that insurance."

    You guys are funny (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by dk on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:54:36 AM EST
    You actually seem to agree with Anne, yet you phrased your comment as an unsubstantiated insult.  

    Usually I just get annoyed when you two go at each other, but sometimes I do admit they make me chuckle.


    Agree? (none / 0) (#21)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:08:11 AM EST
    How so?

    Seems to me Anne is shooting down NYShooters optimism, and seriously downplaying the ACA:

    Will it help some people?  No doubt.  And that's good.  I don't want to take anything away from that.  

    But let's not kid ourselves

    Then the sour grapes..  

    I support NYShooters comment. Anne obviously does not.

    I do agree with Anne that a good question is what are your alternatives...  and I have asked Anne several times but she is not giving up that information. It may put a dent in her anti-Obamacare agenda.


    C'mon, Squeaky, that is a blatant (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:12:33 AM EST
    I have asked Anne several times but she is not giving up that information

    falsehood. And, no I am not going to link to her previous comments on the subject.


    Which Part? (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:31:26 AM EST
    That Anne has offered up her options, or that I have asked her.

    Has your health care choice improved or gotten worse?

    I have not read her previous comments, otherwise I would know.

    Usually too many words demagoguing mostly.


    If you admit that you have not read her (5.00 / 7) (#34)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:47:21 AM EST
    previous comments, then how can you accuse her of not offering any options?
    Just because a person is more critical of Obama than you think they should be, does not make them wrong. Obama is a public official who was voted into office, not a deity to be worshipped.

    I agree with dk. If Anne's comments were made by someone else, you would be in agreement. Your issue seems to be with her, not her comments/views.


    Hey vml (none / 0) (#38)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:05:41 PM EST
    How are your moving plans coming. I think I remember that you said you were moving to Florida, right?

    The move keeps getting postponed. Not that (none / 0) (#44)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:29:41 PM EST
    I am complaining! Spring and early summer is my favorite time to be in NYC.
    Husbands employer gave him a year to move. It looks like we will be stretching that to the limit and beyond. The biggest reason is that my husband has been travelling so much. In the last 4 months he has probably worked at his NYC office a total of 5 times. He is home for the weekends but sometimes has to fly out Sunday evening so he can be wherever he needs to be by Monday morning.

    While I was reluctant to move to FL at first, now I am looking forward to it. His schedule will be less hectic for one. I'm afraid at the rate he is going, he will give himself a heart attack before his 40th b'day.


    Spring and Summer... (none / 0) (#46)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:36:35 PM EST
    ..is beautiful in Baltimore, too. I think that's why I ended up staying there about 5 years longer than my original intention. And Autumn, lordy... all those deciduous trees with all of their colors.

    And before you knew it, it was winter. And who wants to move cross country during the winter?

    I have a close friend who lives in Tallahassee so I keep on eye on their weather as well my own and Baltimore's. I think you will definitely like the winters there :)

    No below zero weather keeping the dogs inside :)


    Ha! I do that too. I keep an eye on the weather (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:48:09 PM EST
    on multiple cities. Not sure why :-).

    I am really looking forward to having a back yard for the dogs to run and for me to garden (no more envying Zorba, Anne, et al. every summer/fall!). That thought was enough to sustain me through this miserable winter that we have had.


    So which is it? (none / 0) (#36)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:55:46 AM EST
    Is this the truth?
    [new] Which Part? (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:31:26 AM MDT

    That Anne has offered up her options, or that I have asked her.
    I have not read her previous comments, otherwise I would know.

    Or is this one?
    ... and I have asked Anne several times but she is not giving up that information.
    They cannot both be true. And based on previous examples, I'm going with Option Number 1.  You have been called to task by Anne and others whom you have misrepresented for poor reading comprehension.  

    I think don't you have a problem with reading comprehension at all. I think you have a problem with simply reading, period, before firing off a missive filled with bantam rooster, fighting words.

    You decide what it says without reading it, and then start a reponse filled with "BS!!" "Obama hater!!" y quien sabe que tanto.

    And now I eagerly await the misreprentation of this comment.

    Or not ::shrug:: Who cares? Anyone who reads here regularly knows what to expect.

    Nonsense really. The only time you make sense is when you talk about music.  Or coffee.


    Oh My (none / 0) (#42)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:23:09 PM EST
    You clever rascal sj, you got me good...


    you should become a lawyer.  forget about chess though.


    You Knew? (none / 0) (#57)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:55:16 PM EST
    I assume that you do and knew that Anne has her own private health insurance that is not part of the ACA.

    I did not know that.

    And you?

    I missed all the discussion about peoples personal experience with the ACA..  and whether it made for worse or better health care than prior to ACA.

    I do remember one or two people saying that their costs went down with more coverage.

    Most of the discussion has been about other people who are supposedly suffering because of the ACA.


    If you missed the discussions about (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:34:37 PM EST
    peoples personal experience with the ACA, maybe you could ask them about it first, before you start hurling accusations. Just a suggestion!

    I am sincerely glad it worked out well for you, but from what I have read not everyone has had your positive experience.

    In my case,I have had the same plan with the same company for the last 8-9 years. It is a very good plan and I was already covered for everything the ACA mandated, so no change in coverage but my premiums have doubled!


    Well (none / 0) (#65)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:46:28 PM EST
    You may want to look into the ACA coverage... My plan that I had did not have prescription or dental, but they offered me one, after the ACA for 25% more than I was paying them already.

    The ACA plan was half of what I was playing at Platinum level, offering dental and eye care..


    I will be honest and say that even though (none / 0) (#71)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:09:44 PM EST
    I b!tch about my premiums doubling, I found I still have a very good deal going. Hearing what others pay in premiums was a bit of an eye-opener for me.
    My insurance is through my husbands employer and they give us different options to choose from. We picked the plan that covers medical, prescription, dental and vision. We could have picked a cheaper option that had a deductible and a lower premium, but elected not to.
    Our plan has saved us a substantial amount of money for the last four years, which I am very thankful and grateful for. So, I plan to stick with it.

    You don't have a clue what the (none / 0) (#62)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:14:47 PM EST
    discussion is about; most of your comments contradict themselves, and when called on it, your explanations make absolutely no sense.  You try to imply something negative about me when you accuse me of not divulging to you what my personal situation is, then flat-out state that you haven't read my comments, and blithely dismiss the whole thing because you "missed" the personal experience discussions.

    So, basically, you just say words...Maybe "never mind" can be your tag line, if you can get the rights from Emily Litella.

    Or you could just stop talking.  


    Nice (none / 0) (#66)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:48:02 PM EST
    Empty, but full of attacks,,, a sign that anne has nothing.

    Anne stated some people have benefited (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by dk on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:16:16 AM EST
    from the ACA, and so do you.  And in my opinion, based on what she wrote, Anne would agree completely with the article that you quoted at length.  I assume you wouldn't have quoted it in the way you did if you didn't agree with it too.

    Do you seem to be having a disagreement of a glass half empty vs. glass half full variety.  Sure.  But that's different from a substantive disagreement.  

    That's why I think you're both kind of silly when you get so hostile to each other.  Such petty reasons for all the venom, IMO.


    Half Empty or Half Full? (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:37:42 AM EST
    I do not see any of Anne's comments on the ACA coming close to the metaphor you bring up.

    Using the word "will it help some" is typical GOP concession before the slam of how bad it is.

    Which is the structure of Anne's comment, imo.

    Will it help some people?  No doubt.  And that's good.  I don't want to take anything away from that.  
    But let's not kid ourselves

    The operative words are let us not kid ourselves..  


    Co-pays, deductibles, "cost-sharing," "balance billing," shrinking networks - these are all part of "affordability," too - and it doesn't do much good if, once you've paid your premiums, you have no money left for the rest of it, does it?

    Isn't that what our GOP friends are arguing here...  OK they also contend that the pool will be so small that rates will skyrocket and the program will fail. IMO this is implicit in Anne's comment.

    Obama Fail because he is a Republican.


    You believe that you have been helped (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:19:44 AM EST
    by ACA and can get insurance for less. Scribe believes that ACA has hurt him and hindered him from obtaining affordable health care.

    BS (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:28:43 AM EST
    Scribe has not compared his healthcare options before ACA. So there is no indication that ACA has hurt him.

    But you missed that part because of the log in your eye.


    It is only BS because (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:38:29 AM EST
    scribe disagrees with you.

    You discount what others have said about their personal experiences due to the log in your eye.


    Really? (none / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:41:36 AM EST
    Please show me where Scribe compares his current health care options to those he had before ACA.

    Have you followed Scribe's situation? Yes, he is seriously down on Obama, but his situation has not been great before when it comes to health care options.


    ROTFLMAO (none / 0) (#114)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:29:06 PM EST
    I haven't heard anyone use that phrase "a log in your eye" for a long, long time.

    Not convinced they agree (none / 0) (#59)
    by ragebot on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:07:50 PM EST
    There seems to be some general agreement that there are winners and losers under obamacare.

    Problem is some folks just seem to think they are winners.


    Close but a little one sided IMO (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:20:06 PM EST
    There are winners and losers under ACA.

    More accurate IMO:

    Those who think they are winners think that they are winners because for the most part they are.

    Those who think they are losers think that they are losers because for the most part they are.

    Some people on both sides of the issue do not want to acknowledge that:

    There are winners and losers under ACA.


    woops (none / 0) (#61)
    by ragebot on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:09:17 PM EST
    should have said

    "some folks seem to think there are only (let me repeat, only) winners.


    Do you have a postion on this (none / 0) (#141)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 08:48:11 AM EST
    I do not recall any prior posts from you.

    Yes, some will benefit. (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:38:59 AM EST
    I'm not going to take your bait and be more specific about that, because there are too many variables to be accurate about it, and we all know that you are poised to pounce on any inaccuracy, no matter how small.

    I'm happy that you have benefited from the ACA; I think I was clear in saying it was a good thing for those whom it is helping.  Guess you missed that.  Not that it's any of your business, but I happen to have an individual plan, not through my employer, and it is grandfathered, so it isn't changing with respect to the new mandates for care - but it didn't need to for the screenings and preventive care aspects, and  the participating provider network is large.  On the other hand, it's not cheap, I don't qualify for any subsidies, and - maybe the most important - Maryland has had a horrendous rollout of its exchange, problems galore, and I just didn't see any point in exploring my options there until they get it straightened out.  

    Did you read Shooter's description of the ACA and what it meant?  Did it not seem a tad over-the-top to you?  Perhaps not, but it did to me - and not because I am the ONE who is able to see the reality of the ACA to date, but because (1) nothing is that perfect and (2) there are many people who have written about, reported on, investigated, discussed, and explained where the problems are, what it will and won't do, and about the millions who will still be uninsured.  That's not "sour grapes," it's "realism."  I'm sure you are familiar with it, but it makes it so much harder to rake me over the coals for what you see as "Obama-hate."  [Jesus...talk about logs in the eye...add some wiring and you could stand in as a telephone pole]

    To repeat: it is a good thing if there are people benefiting from the ACA - if there are people getting care now who weren't before.  I've read the stories of people who haven't been to the doctor in years, or who have been trying to cobble together their health care as finances permit - I find in unconscionable that the so-called wealthiest nation on the planet has people in that kind of situation - with or without the ACA.  I would prefer that we had made an effort to move to single-payer, but my voice, along with millions of others, was ignored.  No one from the single-payer side of this was even allowed to speak.

    That could take us back to how this law was born, an area where the criticism of Democrats and the president are well-deserved, but that horse has left the barn, I think, and now we're left to deal with the reality - with states that won't expand Medicaid, or that are tinkering with the eligibility requirements so more people who need care won't be able to have the assistance of Medicaid.  We're seeing changes to employer plans that aren't benefiting the employee, we're seeing more things like "balance billing," and changes to cost-sharing.  There's been a lot of reporting on shrinking networks.  These are the things that happen when you rely on a dysfunctional and broken model built on the bottom line and dedicated to squeezing through every loophole, however small, in an effort not to pay for care.

    But you just go right ahead and reduce this to Obama-hate, if that's what gets your juices flowing..


    Says it All (none / 0) (#35)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:48:42 AM EST
    Not that it's any of your business, but I happen to have an individual plan...and it isn't cheap... And I just didn't see any point in exploring my options there until they get it straightened out.

    Lucky you!

    Glad to hear that you have empathy for those less fortunate than you.


    Now I know for a fact (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by sj on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:02:38 PM EST
    Glad to hear that you have empathy for those less fortunate than you.
    That you don't read her comments.  I agree with dk and vml68.

    Your being contrary for its own sake. Not to offer insight, but instead to pick a fight.


    For curiosity's sake, did you read her entire comm (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:23:41 PM EST
    The answer seems obvious (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by shoephone on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:33:02 PM EST
    Please just stop; you're making no sense. (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:11:18 PM EST
    How does my not exploring my options to pay less on the MD exchange equate to my not having empathy for those less fortunate than I am?  Should I have subjected myself to that frustration as a sign of solidarity or what?  

    Because I think someone who stated in the comment to which you are replying that I found it unconscionable that tens of millions of people go without care because they can't afford it is empathetic.

    I know, too many words for you.  But not reading them is revealing what your real agenda is - and it sure as hell isn't about being empathetic to those without insurance.

    Here, I made some coffee for you...oh, wait - sorry! - it seems to be a big mug of STFU.  Enjoy!


    What? (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:21:26 PM EST
    How does my not exploring my options to pay less on the MD exchange equate to my not having empathy for those less fortunate than I am?

    Clearly you do have empathy for those less fortunate than you, as I acknowledged. That is a good thing.

    Glad to hear that you have empathy for those less fortunate than you.

    Although it does seem that you may be a little out of touch, and abstract considering it is about other people's situations and stuff you have read about ACA. I find it odd that you have not bothered to even check as to what your situation would be. That is really strange for someone who has so much to say about how the ACA is a clusterfuk.


    I haven't checked to see what my (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:38:24 PM EST
    situation would be because THE MARYLAND EXCHANGE IS FKED UP SIX WAYS FROM SUNDAY, a point I made in my earlier comment.  Doesn't mean I haven't gone to the site, or looked around on it.  It means exactly what I said: I just didn't see any point in exploring my options there until they get it straightened out.

    And there's no way an insincere "Lucky you!" followed by "Glad to hear that you have empathy for those less fortunate than you." weren't intended to be linked.  Your track record is such that you really shouldn't be surprised when people don't buy your lame explanation.  



    Lucky You (none / 0) (#50)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:58:28 PM EST
    Is clear that you are empathic. Just that most of your empathy lies with those who you imagine have gotten f'ed over by that ACA. And clearly empathetic for all those you imagine would have been helped by a single payer system.

    And lucky that these problems do not affect you, except empathetically.


    The definition of "some" (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:20:20 PM EST
    My understanding of the most recent reports about the ACA and "who benefits" is that those who benefit by being insured now number in the millions.  Description of the Gallup Report survey of 28,000 people notes that, in the past month alone, more than 1 million people who had previously been uninsured obtained the initial benefit of becoming insured.  The Gallup survey is one of several new tracking surveys that show the opening benefit of now being newly insured under the ACA reaching the 3 to 4 million range ... fairly much per schedule.

    Translation: Even at this early stage of the process, "some =s millions."  

    One should not forget either that many more than some are enjoying the clear benefits of being enrolled on parents' plan up until age 26, of not being disqualified nor discriminated against because of "pre-existing conditions," of having extended and free preventive screenings previously not legally required, of having the donut-hole $$$ drain for heretofore exorbitant prescription drug costs closing/closed, of not being threatened by the exclusion "cap" that often hung like a sword over individuals with chronic illness, of realistically moving toward lower overall costs as a result of a "cap" with respect to insurance company $$$ sunk into non-medical operations (a cap, btw, to be enforced by government audit programs @ 85% as I recall), etc. IOW, lots more millions of obvious beneficiaries are constituting that "some" as well.

    A fascinating little story on TPM earlier today about the Repubs new dilemma vis-à-vis the ACA.  As more and more people begin to benefit, the question is being raised as to whether Repubs will continue to push complete "repeal" (see Ted Cruz and latest pledge to do so; and, of course, see the 40+ votes on repeal in which Congressional Repubs have concentrated such unproductive effort) OR whether the increasing good news about the ACA benefits will cause even the most outspoken naysayers about the ACA to "relent" with the change of language to a "fix."  


    Thanks Christinep (none / 0) (#75)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:28:50 PM EST
    Your writing is clear and exactly my point.

    Will it help some people?  No doubt.  And that's good.  I don't want to take anything away from that.  

    But let's not kid ourselves

    My reaction to the above comment was SOME?  thank you for explaining to Anne that her characterization of the ACA is at best niggardly.


    Uh, that's not what christine was doing, (none / 0) (#82)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:46:24 PM EST
    as much as you would like to think so.  She brought numbers to the table, that if I had brought, you would have found some way to argue about.

    Also, here's what comes after "Let's not kid ourselves"

    : the goal all along should have been making sure each and every one of us has affordable access to health care, not that we all be the proud owners of insurance policies that may or may not be what we need them to be.

    Now, scurry on down to beat up on jb now, since she's taking issue with christine's numbers.


    Disagree, Anne (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:07:10 PM EST
    My read of your earlier comment was that "some" was used to downplay or diminish the beneficial gains made possible for so many people. I cannot prove that is what you meant by that description, nor would I attempt to do so.  It is merely my read, my interpretation of the language in the context of the comment.

    There are, in fact, growing numbers reported in many places, as the program picks up steam.  This was to be expected for any new major government program; and, there is growing evidence that the growth in benefit numbers is happening and will sustain the program.  For myself, I'm looking forward to seeing the Kaiser report as that institute seems to do a fairly in-depth analysis.  The official numbers from the government will tell a lot about the latest prognosis.


    I was as clear as I could be in (none / 0) (#116)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:53:42 PM EST
     explaining why I would not be more specific than "some;" like your friend squeaky, though, you've apparently decided you knew better than I did what I was trying to say (I should apologize for momentarily forgetting who I was dealing with, and should not have thought your intentions pure - this comment of yours takes talking out of both sides of one's mouth to a new level).

    I was not going to be baited into squeaky's obvious and tiresome trap; it's bad enough that every interaction with him is a trip down the rabbit hole.

    I think it's important to distinguish between having insurance and receiving care; in my opinion, it is the care that is the benefit, and I think it's too soon to measure with any accuracy just how large and widespread the ACA-related benefits are.

    I wasn't "downplaying" anything - just trying to inject some reality to Shooter's exalting and lyrical paean to the ACA.  I know you can't prove that, but I'm equally sure you'll give it your best shot...


    Insurance policies that may not be (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:49:27 PM EST
    what we need them to be.

    Patient advocates say the exclusion of one of Missouri's top hospital systems from policies offered by the region's biggest insurer under the Affordable Care Act could hinder treatment for some patients and force others to switch doctors.

    The network for the Anthem BlueCross BlueShield plans, which will be sold through Missouri's "Obamacare" marketplace, does not include BJC HealthCare and its 13 hospitals -- among them Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the area's premier academic medical center, and St. Louis Children's Hospital.

    "That is a major concern for a lot of reasons," said Andrea Routh, executive director of the Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance. "Children's Hospital, which in my mind is an essential community provider, is part of that network. If they're not including the Children's Hospital, care for children could really be compromised."
    Narrow networks present the opportunity for lower costs via discounts from select hospitals and doctors in return for patient volume. But smaller networks can require members to travel farther for care or make it hard to get appointments, patient advocates say.
    On the other hand, he said, "some of the plans are excluding essential community providers... that are best equipped to deal with the problems of lower-income people." link

    BJC is staffed with nationally known specialists and has cutting edge treatment for various diseases that are not available through cheaper less advanced hospitals. That is the main reason that people come to those facilities from rural MO and surrounding states.

    Insurance is not worthwhile if you cannot access the care that you need.


    BTW (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:08:25 PM EST
    Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University. St. Louis, MO is the only nationally ranked hospital in MO. and is Ranked #1 in St. Louis metro area.

    Exactly What christinep Was Doing (none / 0) (#125)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:56:51 PM EST
    And I would rate your comment 5 if you ever could bring yourself to give Obama credit where credit is due.

    It is not personal, it is your comments that I respond to. And I do not care what you think of my reading comprehension or whether you think I have read your comment thoroughly or at all.


    That doesn't square with the data (none / 0) (#80)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:36:27 PM EST

    The new health insurance marketplaces appear to be making little headway in signing up Americans who lack insurance, the Affordable Care Act's central goal, according to a pair of new surveys.

    Only one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private plans through the new marketplaces enrolled as of last month, one of the surveys shows. The other found that about half of uninsured adults have looked for information on the online exchanges or planned to look.

    The snapshots from the surveys released Thursday provide preliminary answers to what has been one of the biggest mysteries since HealthCare.gov and separate state marketplaces opened last fall: Are they attracting their prime audience?

    And many of the people who ARE buying insurance were already previously covered and had their plans canceled.


    There is a lot of spin (or pre-spin) (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:57:56 PM EST
    as we approach the end of the first major reporting period.  As the article to which Squeaky refers points out: Positioning by both sides.  Apart from the early guesswork tho, there does seem to be substantiation about the numbers of newly insured as in the millions.  Today's info from Gallup, the largest tracker, quotes Frank Newport as saying that the most recent report continues the positive uptick of each previous monthly tracking.

    Clearly, this is still an eye-of-the-beholder stage ... the "how many millions?"  For now.  One thing that does appear to have growing certitude is that "some =s millions" as I described.  (Without the vast Medicaid enrollment and important expansion being factored in, "some =s millions."  Without the obvious societal and personal improvements for as-yet untold millions in terms of specific reforms described above, "some =s millions.")

    And--as also referenced--positive ACA news does present a unique problem and choice for Repubs as each month passes.  If we ask when is good news called bad news? Well ... certainly when you are a Repub who voted more than 40 times to repeal the ACA and you have no real alternative other than business-as-usual.


    The problem is (none / 0) (#88)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:07:46 PM EST
    As has been reported ad nauseam, is the way Gallup asked the question - "Do you have health insurance coverage?" and the fact that many people will answer "Yes," because they signed up for a plan, so of course, they are going to answer in the affirmative.  The problem is, if they haven't paid for a plan (which many reports show that only 1 in 5 have paid for the first month's premium), then that mean, no, they do not have insurance coverage.  So, there could be a large disconnect between the response given to Gallup and reality  They won't know until they try and go to a doctor and find out they are not covered.

    Also, the Gallup poll also says the following:

    The percentage of Americans who get insurance through a current or former employer fell nearly two points so far in the first quarter of 2014 to 43.4%. More Americans now say their primary health insurance coverage is through a plan fully paid for by themselves or a family member compared with at the end of 2013 -- 18.1% vs. 17.2%. The percentage who say they are covered primarily through Medicaid is also up slightly, likely because some states have chosen to expand Medicaid coverage.

    Even Gallup cannot attribute the "decline in uninsured" to the ACA with certainty.

    The uninsured rate continues to decline after the requirement to have health insurance went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. This drop could be a result of the ACA, which aims to provide healthcare coverage to more Americans through multiple provisions, including federal and state healthcare marketplaces where Americans can purchase health insurance coverage at competitive rates.

    At the end of February, HHS reported 4 million people have signed up for health insurance coverage through the marketplaces established under the ACA. With the open enrollment period scheduled to close on March 31, the uninsured rate in the U.S. will likely continue to fall. Additionally, healthcare aides in the Obama administration announced on Wednesday that Americans will be able to renew old health insurance plans for up to three years, even if the plans do not comply with ACA policies. Other provisions of the healthcare law have not yet gone into effect, such as the requirement for employers to provide health insurance to their employees by 2015 or 2016. These provisions also may affect the uninsured rate over time.

    So, yes we won't have a firm grip on the numbers until much later in the year (and they won't be true numbers anyway, since there is no real number for how many uninsured we started with - we only have guesses).  But I do find it funny that you spin this as this becoming a bigger and bigger problem for Republicans when every expert, writer, poll, and study shows that Obamacare will affect Democrats much more - for either good or bad - in the upcoming election.


    At this point (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:17:54 PM EST
    and while no one can say definitively how the growth in newly-insured came about in the past six months, Gallup director Newport confronts the matter by concluding that the firm's data strongly suggests that the growth stems from the ACA.

    There are corollary issues, of course.  Yet, the growth is positive for the program and for the individuals newly covered by the program.  OTOH, Ted Cruz stands his ground in defiance, while other Repubs are trying out words other than "repeal."  We live in interesting times.


    And sill (none / 0) (#91)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:20:25 PM EST
    Obamacare and its aftermath will only be relevant to those Democrats running.  Ted Cruz is not on the ballot this year, so this will affect him in exactly zero ways.

    And (none / 0) (#142)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 09:48:15 AM EST
    As much I think Salon is a tabloid rag sometimes, there's this article in today's mag:

    On Friday, while pretty much everyone in the national press corps was hypnotized by CPAC's Grand Kabuki, Republicans quietly announced the biggest domestic political news of the week, and nobody wearing a tricorn hat was any the wiser, or there would've been hell to pay.

    Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn got the scoop, which is behind a paywall, but here is the gist:

    House Republican leaders are planning to bring up three changes to Obamacare next week -- but unlike dozens of prior bills, these are more minor measures that are not expected to be controversial. All three bills essentially fix drafting errors, perceived oversights or unintended consequences in the president's Affordable Care Act. They have bipartisan support and are scheduled to be considered under a suspension of the rules, which limits debate and requires support from two-thirds of House members -- a signal that leaders of both parties do not expect any heated debate.

    They hold some political significance, however, because they allow Republicans to push back against the Democrats' talking point that the GOP is only interested in holding votes to pick at Obamacare's flaws. They also represent the reality that Obamacare is now fully implemented -- and not fixing errors could be more damaging to opponents than being perceived as trying to make Obamacare work better.

    That pretty much covers it, though I would add that passing even a single Affordable Care Act technical corrections bills undermines the impression many conservatives are trying to create that the law is unfixable. These bills won't codify any of the administrative measures President Obama has taken to smooth implementation of the law, and instead will address the narrow concerns of worthy constituencies like veterans and Christian Scientists.

    So again - Obamacare will not hurt Republicans in very many (if any) races they have this fall.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 298 (none / 0) (#15)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:00:45 AM EST
    What a surprise! (none / 0) (#77)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:30:16 PM EST
    NKorea: Not a single vote cast against Kim Jong Un

    This would be hilarious if it were not so depressing.

    The new military sexual assault bill (none / 0) (#100)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:10:09 PM EST
    written by Claire McCaskill passed the Senate 97-0 this afternoon.

    Colorado business owner (none / 0) (#101)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:17:22 PM EST
    Where is a Rastafarian (none / 0) (#126)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:39:20 PM EST
    to challenge this when you need one?

    OTOH dreadlocks I think means no haircuts.

    OTOOH I'm really sensitive to smoke, cigarette smoke, so sitting next to smoker makes me ill just from what clings to them.


    Some of this new stuff (none / 0) (#130)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:11:09 PM EST
    is incredibly strong smelling. I smelled a guy toking on the corner from almost a block away today.

    Some of it smells like skunk (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by shoephone on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:14:09 PM EST
    You know you're old when you relish the aroma of old-style bud mixed with shake.

    Seriously... (none / 0) (#194)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:55:54 AM EST
    my roomate came home last night with some White Russian, a White Widow/AK47 cross, that he got as a tip from a customer of his...I smelled the pungency as soon as he walked in through the door, and the sh*t was in his pocket in a sealed glass jar.  Needless to say we had a most pleasant evening.

    I need to get my guy stocking some o' that, Jack.  Wowzah!!!  


    Fox News can't spell ... (none / 0) (#117)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:58:35 PM EST
    ... "Spelling Bee" correctly, probably due to their continued outrage over Benghazi.

    RSPECT (none / 0) (#183)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:10:19 PM EST
    That's how the pres spells respect.

    As long as we correct spelling now.   Too busy golfing?


    President Obama would have to (5.00 / 4) (#187)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:14:07 AM EST
    go on vacation for months for him to come close to catching up with our always on vacation president, G.W. Bush.

    A CBS News Correspondent did an analysis of presidential vacations back in 8/13. At that time, Obama had taken 96 days vacation. At the same point in his presidency, G.W. had taken 349 days.


    Asking questions (none / 0) (#133)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:38:47 PM EST
    Its the Socratic method of teaching.

    It is too early to judge obamacare (none / 0) (#144)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:33:04 AM EST
    There have been winners.

    There have been losers.

    No doubt those who are getting coverage at a lower cost than before are winners and those that are paying more or had to change plans are losers.  Those who now qualify for Medicaid are winners, but those who have to pay additional taxes for others coverage are losers (at least in the simplest analysis).

    Problem is we have no real numbers so it is hard to judge which group is the biggest.  It is also hard to judge just how much covering everyone is a win for the country, especially in the eyes of those who will have to subsidize those in lower income ranges.

    What seems clear is politically obamacare is a loser in the short run.  At least five senators are running from it and Obama has delayed parts of it from being implemented until 2020.  We will all know a lot more in November.

    Losers (none / 0) (#145)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:11:51 AM EST
    Seems to me that all the so called losers I have heard about are people who were and still are opposed to the ACA and or those who have the resources to fund their health care privately.

    And the winners are those who could not get any health care coverage because of pre conditions, as well as those who could not afford health care to begin with.  The other winners are those who were paying high cost private insurance and now are paying lower rates for better coverage.


    A stretch (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 12:30:14 PM EST
    Seems to me that all the so called losers I have heard about are people who were and still are opposed to the ACA and or those who have the resources to fund their health care privately.

    Just because you haven't heard of anyone else, doesn't meant they don't exist.  But I find it incredulous that you haven't heard of anyone who for example, had to settle for a lesser plan for more money because their plan got canceled.  Or someone whose doctor, with whom they had built a relationship, suddenly isn't in their plan, so the have to start over.

    Seems to me that you need to actually look at all the facts, just not the ones that agree with your rosy view of the world.


    OK (none / 0) (#195)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:30:00 AM EST
    What is your health care situation.

    I have asked people here. Anne has not bothered to check out ACA because she does not need to. She has a plan that is expensive but she can afford it.

    I have also asked people I know about their experience, and it seems that either they have not checked out the options because they do not need to, or they have had great success.

    A friend from Philadelphia mentioned last night that he has been able to stay in his house because of the ACA. His premiums dropped from over $900 to around $350.

    Others mentioned that it depends on the state. GOP governors have screwed their constituents by not setting up exchanges and letting the Insurance companies do what ever they want.
    An example is Wisconsin, where the rates have skyrocketed. A friend mentioned that his friend from Wisconsin is now renting a place in Minnesota in order to get better insurance rates. The lower cost makes the additional rent worth it.

    All the naysayers here are crying over single payer yet I have not heard of anyone here who is suffering because of the change. And if they are I have not heard criticism of their governor or state who is doing the actual damage.

    All of the finger pointing goes to Obama. complaints that he is the same a Republican; a very tired argument,IMO. Seems time to face reality and rather than continue joining the GOPers  who have done everything they can to screw their constituents by not cooperating with ACA, and join the voters who are going to vote those GOPers out of office for screwing them.


    Nosy little bugger, aren't you? (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:11:32 AM EST
    Let's start with Anne's situation, shall we?  Anne reported that her state, Maryland, has its own exchange, and as such, she cannot go out on the federal exchange for insurance.  Anne further reported that the Maryland exchange was as bad, if not worse, in terms of problems getting on the site, problems creating accounts, etc., that she decided to stick with her grandfathered private plan and wait for the Maryland exchange to straighten itself out.  Anne did mention that her private insurance was not cheap, but she didn't address the affordability relative to her personal financial situation.  

    States that have not set up exchanges do not become insurance free-for-alls; if you live in a state with no exchange, you go out on the federal exchange for insurance, or you can obtain your insurance off-exchange, although you will not be subsidy-eligible if you do.  Where states have impacted the ability of individuals to obtain health coverage is in not expanding Medicaid, or changing the Medicaid eligibility requirements to keep more people from qualifying.

    As great as TL is, I do not believe you should base your assessment of who is and isn't suffering by whether you have read of such here; it's a big country. That being said, and as shoephone pointed out in her comment, Teresainsnow2 related quite a bit of how the ACA was negatively impacting her situation, but perhaps this was discussion you missed (or perhaps out-of-sight-out-of-mind is a condition not unique to ostriches).

    There's a reason the ACA is known as Obamacare, even within the White House (interestingly, I don't refer to it that way because I think it buys into the GOP use of the label, which is universally negative, and I don't like to assist them in whatever their agenda is): this is Obama's baby.  He got a lot of help from people like Max Baucus, and we know he - and Baucus - worked "closely" with health insurance and pharmaceutical executives (Baucus had a former Wellpoint executive helping him), and he's proud as can be of the end product.  

    Yes, I'm pretty sure the GOP is hot to repeal the ACA before too many people can reap the benefits of it and show their appreciation at the voting booth; with so much benefit, it's hard to fathom why the legislation had such an extended implementation date - can you imagine how things might be if this law had gone into effect in time for the 2012 House and Senate races?  But perhaps that was on the minds of its creators, and they were worried it wouldn't be as great as advertised and the 2012 elections would be a Democratic bloodbath.


    Insults? (none / 0) (#203)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:50:12 AM EST
    Nosy little bugger, aren't you?

    WTF is that about? If you think that your comments at TL are somehow private you are wrong. If you expect that your comments are not fair game for anyone to respond to maybe you should start your own blog..   I remember PPJ started one a long time ago, for that very reason. He banned all those he did not want responding to his comments.

    And again your argument is weakened by starting off with insults.

    Anne reported that her state, Maryland, has its own exchange, and as such, she cannot go out on the federal exchange for insurance.

    Really, you cannot go out on the federal exchange? Did not know that. But you mentioned that you have not even tried to enroll? At least your State Attorney is working to change that rule.

    Doug Gansler, the state attorney general who is also running for the governor's seat, has slammed Brown for his role and urged that Maryland residents be allowed to choose whether they want to use the state exchange or the federal one instead.

    that she [Anne] decided to stick with her grandfathered private plan and wait for the Maryland exchange to straighten itself out.

    I must have missed that you were interested in joining the exchange, and had you been in another state, like NY, CA, MN, you would already have enrolled, or at least explored the possibility.

    Anne did mention that her private insurance was not cheap, but she didn't address the affordability relative to her personal financial situation.

    Oh, well I did not address the affordability, but obviously you can afford your grandfathered plan, otherwise you would drop it or lower your expenses in other areas in order to afford it. But feel free to elaborate if you care to.

    For example a friend of mine was going to have to move to a smaller and much cheaper place to live in order to keep his family insured. Because of ACA, he can stay because he dumped his expensive plan.

    And I have been speaking to many about ACA, and for the most part, they have not looked at the options because they do not need to, like you, or they have had great relief from the ACA.

    As you said earlier, the single payer plan is not an option. Insurance companies are going to be part of this for some time to come, so it seems to me that the best approach would be to accept the situation and work towards making it better.

    Many here, seem to care more about using the failures and problems with the ACA as a way to rack up points against the Democrats, and in particularly Obama, rather than actually work to making it better. This position is tantamount to obstruction, and is right in line with the GOP protocol. IOW more investment in the politics (Obama FAIL) than investment in making health care work.


    I live in Virginia (none / 0) (#197)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:57:10 AM EST
    I had a plan through Care First Blue Cross.  It was canceled because it was "high deductible" ($10,000), yet I had low co-pays, prescription co-pays, mental health, vision, dental, etc.  The only thing it did not have was maternity care because when I bought the plan, I deliberately opted out of it.

    I looked around on the exchanges for the plans being offered in my state, even though I don't qualify for a subsidy or tax credit, because I could then go to those companies' websites and just apply directly (never mind that you originally had to sign up on healthcare.gov to even look at plans, and we all know what a fiasco that was - I never was able to get all the way through until December).

    I ended up staying with Care First Blue Cross because it was the "cheapest". It is a Bronze plan.  Yes, it has a smaller deductible ($6250 vs. $10,000), but frankly, if I am sick enough to rack up those kinds of medical bills, $3750 extra is the least of my problems and not something that is so overwhleming that it can't be overcome). But it has a smaller network, higher co-pays, and here's the kicker - it's 20% more than what I was paying before. So let's break this down:  less service for more money.

    Am I as bad off as some people?  No, and I'm not claiming that.  There are many, many people worse off.  But I was happy with the plan that I had. And now finding out, after the fact, that I could have kept it and opted out of the mandate altogether, really kinda ticks me off. Especially when the whole point of this bill was that the mandate was essential for the success of the law.  Apparently not - every week there is a new exemption that just eats away at the law and in the end, the only ones who are going to get screwed are the consumers.

    I'm glad you were helped by this.  Lots of people were helped, although there are things that everyone agreed on which could have been in a smaller bill, with less rancor, that didn't cost us a year of our lives, and probably would have better politically all around - things like the pre-existing condition rule, young people staying on their parents' insurance until 26, etc. And I would suggest you wait until the 2015 rates come out to see how much you will be "saving".


    Yes We'll See (none / 0) (#200)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:24:15 AM EST
    Not sure why you are posting a conservative opinion, lambasting "liberals" here. It makes it seem that you are determined not to be one of those liberals are silently co-operating with Obama and getting screwed.

    Always interesting to see when those who identify with "liberal" join ranks with conservatives.

    And, I do not really understand the waiver, and how you could have kept your plan? If that is the case, why can't you switch back as you would quality as someone who got cancelled?  There is still time, no?

    I am glad to hear that you are not suffering because of the ACA, but I do not understand why your align your self with the GOP and argue their points, when we really do not know how this is going to play out.  


    Reading comprehension (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:46:52 AM EST
    I am glad to hear that you are not suffering because of the ACA, but I do not understand why your align your self with the GOP and argue their points, when we really do not know how this is going to play out.

    I am not "suffering" but I got screwed. Idon't know how that's "silently cooperating with Obama" because in this instance, I could really give a flying fig if I am cooperating with him or not.  I know you have no empathy or sympathy for those who may be worse off, because you personally don't know anyone who is like that, and because that does not comport with your narrow world view.

    I can't go back and get a plan that was already cancelled, but had I just procrastinated and just not changed my plan, I could have kept my original plan.  Silly me - I take my health care seriously and wanted to make sure all my ducks were in a row, even though I knew the clusterf*ck that was to come. You don't understand why I can't go back and get a cancelled plan because the administration keeps unilaterally changing what they think the law says. This kind of news isn't really broadcast widely because it undercuts their fundamental message - that the mandate is essential, but now, not so much. Basically, this law and implementation is a mess because there have been so many waivers that it  means nothing anymore.

    Always interesting to see when those who identify with "liberal" join ranks with conservatives.

    I never claimed to be a liberal. I agree with more positions on the left side of the aisle, but too many "liberals"  seem to have as narrow minds as the conservatives they criticize - so much so that couldn't possibly be open to any other view other than their own (see: yourself), so, basically, they are just as bad. (I put the term in quotes because liberals who are close minded to everything but their own point of view, by definition, are not "liberal").  FWIW -  I don't consider you a liberal, because based on your writings, you are one of the most narrow minded people who comment on this blog.


    The biggest winners (none / 0) (#146)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:23:10 AM EST
    are the insurance companies.  Obamacare by law makes it impossible for them to lose money.  If they have to pay out more than they take in the federal govt will make up the difference.  Kinda like the GM bailout.

    Not sure yet, but the biggest losers may be the five or more senators who are running from obamacare and a few of them are expected to lose their seats.  If the GOP is able to get control of the Senate the dems may wind up being the biggest loser.


    Really? (none / 0) (#147)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:27:08 AM EST
    Seems to me that the insurance companies fought the ACA and any variation of it for decades. Yes, cutting them out all together by using single payer would be much worse for them, but their bottom line must have dropped with the ACA.

    Certainly my insurance company took a hit.


    It may be too early to know. (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:44:32 AM EST
    The gamblers... (5.00 / 3) (#149)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:57:13 AM EST
    on Wall are betting that ACA will be a boon to the for-profit health care industry.  Check out the S&P Health Care 500...it's a moving on up!

    ragebot took the words out my mouth...ya can't talk about ACA winners without talking about the insurance companies and corporate health care providers.  

    otoh, the insurance and health care cabals aren't allowed to lose in our corrupt economic & political systems, so if anything the ACA just helps them win more.


    May Be OK (none / 0) (#151)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 12:06:48 PM EST
    We will see how it plays out. Someone has to be the middle man, be it the US gov or Insurance or someone else.

    In the end it may work out for consumers, not that I have any love for insurance companies. So far my situation is much better. Lower cost and better insurance.


    Indeed, time will tell... (none / 0) (#153)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 12:18:50 PM EST
    nature of the capitalist beast, I hear ya...I'm tilting at windmills again Sancho;)

    Glad it's helping you and many others...just wish Obama and the Dems coulda wrestled more concessions from the insurance industrial complex.  The gains of the previously uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions will be paid for by the previously insured via rate hikes...the CEO class ain't gonna take a nickel less, that much is a given.

    We'll see how I make out in June when my employer has to re-up our plan...I'd expect there will be an increase and/or reduction in coverage, same as every other year.  The old working man's lament..."everything goes up but the pay".  I'll live;)


    kdog: Sometimes (none / 0) (#157)
    by christinep on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 12:32:25 PM EST
    designing a result/outcome in such a way as to expand the list of winners has benefits for more than one category.  IMO, the "gamble" or design has a better long term chance or staying power when the plan is to increase the number of "winners" or benefitting groups rather than the all-or-nothing insurance version of a lottery that we have experienced as a country before the ACA.  Yes, it can be fun and even adventurous to throw money that you have (or don't really have) at the insurers' unregulated pool hoping to come up as one of the few "lottery" winners in health. But, as we all know, only a largely-by-chance few win any kind of lottery ... and, that had been so with the old healthcare system and the healthcare hand fate often dealt so many people here.

    If millions of individuals are even now benefitting by being able to enjoy the benefits of an affordable plan that wasn't attainable before, what does it really matter in the long run if the "deal" or pragmatic agreement that coopted the insurance companies involves a profitable stable clientele (the guaranteed insured) as well.  If the numbers of newly insured benefits so many, benefits society overall, I know that I am not going to let my long-time antagonism toward insurance companies cause me to "cut off my nose to spite my face."  
    I also know that there are those who resist/resent "giving" their money to those who otherwise would not have been able to afford any coverage (see expanded Medicaid) ... a few comments have been made in this thread to that effect ... and, in my estimation, kdog, you are NOT among those who do not believe in helping the less fortunate or in being "my brother's keeper."  

    So ... my real questionsto you, kdog, is:  If the design and reality of the ACA plan is to help millions more obtain decent healthcare coverage, is that a "win" or a "loss"?  Especially, does society as a whole gain and is the greater utility realized under our prior system or under the ACA?  


    Health Insurance Is Not Health Care (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 12:57:29 PM EST
    No question obamacare has provided some type of health insurance/Medicaid to folks.  But even before obamacare Medicaid covered folks had a problem finding doctors.  Lots of the new plans have been bashed for having provider networks that are not realistic for the number of folks in the geographic area they cover.

    Even Medicare patients can not always find a doctor.  There is also the problem of the 'doctor fix' which basically raised Medicare payments that had been lowered by congress.

    Then there is the doctor shortage which is being made worse by older doctors retiring because they view more paperwork and lower govt payments making working not being worth it.

    Most health care planners claimed (and I agree) there were problems with the health care system before obamacare.

    The question is will obamacare make things better or worse.  The winners will say yes, the losers will say no.  So far politically several dem senators look to be losers, and if the GOP gains control of the Senate (not impossible as things look now) the dems and Obama may be losers.


    I think that being able to find doctors (none / 0) (#160)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:09:10 PM EST
    when on Medicaid or Medicare has more to do with where you live than anything else. In rural areas it may be more of a problem. Here people on Medicaid or Medicare do not seem to have a problem accessing top quality doctors and someone I know in a large city in AZ recently went on Medicaid and had no problem at all getting in to see a new doctor. He got an appointment and saw the doctor in less than a week.

    In our area, due to the narrow networks offered by the exchange, people with those policies may encounter more problems accessing top quality care than those on Medicaid or Medicare.


    If, at the end of the day,... (5.00 / 3) (#159)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:03:55 PM EST
    there are millions more who won't go bankrupt if they get seriously ill, I would certainly call that a win.  

    All I'm trying to say is ya can't talk about winners without health insurance companies topping the winners list.  If others win too, that's great...but somebody has to sacrifice, and it will be all the people not quite broke enough to qualify for a subsidy.  All alone on the losers list they are.  Is it for the greater good, quite possibly, time will tell...it's just frustrating that some people and entities are contractually forbidden from ever losing.  No basic fairness to be seen.    


    Definition of a winner (none / 0) (#161)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:23:50 PM EST
    may not be the same to all.

    As I posted earlier there is a real chance enough dem senators will be defeated for the GOP to gain control of the Senate.  Not a sure thing but if it happens most would call that a win for the GOP.

    There is also the moral question of how to deal with two competing values.  Compassion for others and personal responsibility.  While it is always fun to debate that it should also be noted that not everyone agrees that the govt taking from one group to give to another is a winning idea.  If too many peeps think the current pols is taking too much from them to give to someone else they will vote out the current pols.

    In some situations reasonable folks can disagree on what a winner is.


    See the problem I have with this so called (5.00 / 3) (#164)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 02:03:03 PM EST
    logic is that the rational for it is that the government is taking away something from you to give to one of those people. While those using this rhetoric go on and on about this, they more often are mute on the subject of how citizens are being ripped off by military contractors, large corporations and the huge amounts paid out in corporate welfare each year. Job creators ripping you off doesn't seem to even register. It is those people.

    The great philosophical debate and more (none / 0) (#165)
    by christinep on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 02:12:59 PM EST
    Surely, where you stand depends on where you sit. The old adages do seem to describe things throughout the generations in many ways. Agree with the obvious that different individuals can and will define "win" differently, ragebot.  The "tiebreaker" in our society will eventually be the utilitarian one involving who constitutes the voting majority.  As you indicate, a lopsided outcome in the Senate in November may give oomph to a segment's argument ... either way.  But, with each passing month with more and more countable groups actually gaining from the ACA via enrollment, the phrase "fait accompli" may take on a special ring.

    Your middle paragraph, imo, pinpoints the core of our country's long, intense debate about how best to address healthcare.  There are so many opinions ... and in the midst of both the philosophical underpinnings as well as the implementation reality, we see again and again the power of both values.  Individual responsibility and Responsibility for others ... at the heart of the history of America.  

    Those values need not set up a completely polar-opposite view and expression about our country.  Maybe it should be about one group not taking it all, about not taking too much.  In many ways, I would contend, the ACA does try to blend both values; and, that may be one reason why both sides of the value argument has been so intense.  Yet, I would also offer this view, ragebot, that the push toward a bit of rebalancing--a measure of redistribution of wealth--is only going to grow.  Heck, study after study (as well as what we all observe) has documented the growing gap between rich and poor nationally and worldwide.  Even Pope Francis ran into a headwind from outspoken economic elite members when he referenced the urgent need for redressing the balance somewhat to the good of those less fortunate (specifically noting that he was talking along the lines of redistribution and not simply individual charity.)  So, I do agree that it is one of the great societal debates.  Perhaps, then, diligently searching for genuine give & take in terms of "win & loss" makes sense from a pragmatic societal standpoint if we are to advance and avoid the economically destructive aspects of even greater polarization.


    You keep saying this (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 02:19:00 PM EST
    But, with each passing month with more and more countable groups actually gaining from the ACA via enrollment, the phrase "fait accompli" may take on a special ring.

    But "enrollment" doesn't mean those people actually have plans.  More importantly, it doesn't mean they have access to care.  So yes, "fait accompli" may take on the meaning of the many, many people who think they have plans, or people who have plans who can't get care, or people who, next year after the 2015 pricing schemes come out, or can't afford their plans, so they are back at square one with nothing to show for it.


    Oops (none / 0) (#169)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 03:23:08 PM EST
    Obamacare enrollment drops in February

    About 4.2 million people have signed up for health plans on Obamacare exchanges through the end of February, making it unlikely that the Obama administration will hit the estimate of 6 million enrollees by a key deadline at the end of March.

    Whatever momentum was building in January appeared to drop off in February, as the number of sign ups fell below the administration's expectations. The numbers -- which were released a day before Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on the Hill -- also show young people aren't enrolling at rates officials had predicted. That group is key because they are generally presumed to be healthier and less costly.

    About 900,000 people signed up for exchange coverage in February, according to the latest monthly enrollment report from the Department of Health and Human Services. That's down from the 1.14 million people who signed up in January, and it falls well short of the Obama administration's original enrollment goals.


    For the second straight month, young adults between 18 and 34 years made up 25 percent of total exchange signups. The administration originally said 40 percent of exchange enrollees should be young adults to help counter the cost of older and less healthy enrollees.


    The HHS numbers reported today are just plan selections, however, and not official enrollments. HHS says it still doesn't know how many people have paid the first month's premium, the final step in completing enrollment. Major insurers and news reports suggest about 20 percent of those signing up in exchange plans haven't paid premiums.

    The administration also doesn't know how many of the exchange signups include previously uninsured individuals. A McKinsey and Co. survey last week found 27 percent of exchange enrollees previously lacked insurance.

    "Philosophical debate"? (none / 0) (#170)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 04:47:51 PM EST
    Nice way to dismiss reality--which is not philosophical at all, but financial.

    I seem to recall that after passage of the ACA, kdog's insurance premium, through his employer's plan with Oxford, went up a whopping 38% (kdog can confirm whether I remember this right or not). 38% ain't peanuts, and it ain't philosophical.


    Errata: not passage, but implementation of ACA (none / 0) (#171)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 04:49:49 PM EST
    according to the December deadline for enrollments.

    The portion related to "philosophy" (none / 0) (#172)
    by christinep on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 05:33:26 PM EST
    expressly followed from ragebot's characterization wherein he mentioned the conflict presented by two values (Individual Responsibility and what-could-be-termed Societal Responsibility.)

    My position is that--in a complex society such as ours--the two values can be "blended" in legislation.  And, that a give & take is needed where issues are complex and polarized IF we are to make any progress, movement off dead-center.  Else, we realize ... nothing.  That, dear friend, is how we get actual change.  Not via academics, theory, and refusal to move from an ideological starting point.


    I'm not the one talking theory (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 05:39:42 PM EST
    Neither am I, shoephone ... neither am I (none / 0) (#174)
    by christinep on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 06:38:21 PM EST
    Thank you for the lead-in here, btw.  You see, "give & take" (aka "compromise" for actual problem solving) is a real vehicle for bringing about the reform that is the ACA.  All major legislation wherein the dominant theme has been polar-opposite views has only happened because people were willing to give & take to get real change for real people.  Not theoretical; not abstract; not purely ideological.  The ACA is real ... it is already providing the real benefits in terms of insurance and benefits recounted here and elsewhere.  

    Even tho political polarity in this society is absolutely essential to any forward movement, to any humane progress, ultimately the steps that embody any movement have to occur via legislation, court, or (very occasionally) Executive Order.  My position is pragmatic ... not just because I like sausage :) ... but because, in my experience and from what I have seen, the holding onto an ideological stance such as "we must stay the way we are OR we must have single payer" is only academic, theoretical if it does not and cannot get the legislative support necessary to become law in the first place.

    We may disagree on a host of things.  I would hope, however, that we can agree that Americans should get better insurance (and the better healthcare that inevitably follows) in reality.  If you or others want to classify my position: Utilitarian, one who wants the greatest good for the greatest number in a democratic republic.


    Was there a fight for single payer that I missed? (5.00 / 4) (#175)
    by vml68 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 06:55:58 PM EST
    we must stay the way we are OR we must have single payer" is only academic, theoretical if it does not and cannot get the legislative support necessary to become law in the first place

    You can't say we cannot have something, if there is no effort made to try and get it. Had we started with single payer and then made concessions, maybe we could have ended up with something that was a close approximation. But, now we will never know because we did not try.


    For me, it wasn't even that we didn't (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:29:21 AM EST
    start with single-payer, it was that the whole idea of it, the possibility of it, was taken off the table and no one from that side was allowed to participate in the conversation/debate.  If nothing else, even if there ended up not being a single-payer proposal, just allowing it to be part of the discussion would have challenged the only game in town - the monolith that is private insurance - and shed light on how the insurance industry had helped bring us to the point where the entire system was in crisis.  It would have served to educate the public directly, countering the fear-mongering that insurance interest groups always engage in whenever the industry's stranglehold is threatened.

    Maybe there would have been fewer back-door meetings.  Fewer back-room deals.  More public outcry for not building on the rotten foundation of the private insurance industry.

    My thought always was that if we really wanted to fix a broken system, we needed to look at all the possibilities; when Obama took it off the table, I knew that the only game in town would continue to be the only game in town, that any concessions by the industry would be in exchange for things that would accrue to their benefit - as usual.

    You don't push and challenge or bring lasting reform to the private insurance industry when the people in charge in Washington clear the decks of any possible competition, so that theirs are the only voices anyone hears.

    Who knows, really, how the tide could have turned, how the vote counts could have changed, had we had the courage and vision to bring all the parties to the table and have a real debate.

    That was, and remains, the root of my criticism of the entire process that gave us the ACA.  That Obama and his Senate minions acted as facilitators to make sure private insurance prevailed, rather than as true advocates of reform.  "Benefit" should have been defined as everyone having access to affordable care, not everyone having insurance, because we know how insurance companies roll: the more of our premium dollars they can keep, the better for them, which makes them, ultimately, barriers to care, not facilitators of it.  We've already seen the push to get around the medical loss ratio mandate - an effort that the final rules suggest was fairly successful:

    Federal rules issued today on how much health insurers must spend on health care vs. administration and profit are nearly unchanged from the proposals sent to the Department of Health and Human Services by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. HHS deserves credit for resisting a lobbyist onslaught demanding more loopholes in the law requiring the industry to spend 80% to 85% of premium dollars on health care, said Consumer Watchdog. But HHS also left intact some of the industry's chief goals, including over-broad tax deductions and loose definitions of  "health  quality improvements" that will artificially boost the health care ratios (also known as medical loss ratios) of all insurers. This will allow insurers to appear more efficient with less or even no effort on their part.

    "The HHS rules are certainly not as bad as they could have been, considering the demands of the health insurance lobbyists who swarmed the agency," said Judy Dugan, research director of Consumer Watchdog. "But the industry will take every advantage of new tax deductions and the definition of `health quality improvements' that can be counted as health care. HHS will have to focus its measurement and enforcement on these loopholes, and act to correct the regulations to stop abuses."

    Does anyone doubt they are hard at work finding ways to get around all the other mandates?

    This is not to say there aren't good elements and coverage mandates in the ACA - there are.  I'm someone who believes we are all entitled to affordable, accessible health care, and to the extent more people are in a position to have that as a result of the ACA, that's a good thing.  I hope, as time goes on, that more people will benefit.

    But I don't think the fight is over, nor do I think it should be.  While we should take full advantage of the benefits we have attained, we should continue to work for more and better.  That we didn't include single-payer as part of the debate in 2009 will, in my opinion, go down as one of the all-time biggest missed opportunities.


    The lack of public fights (none / 0) (#176)
    by christinep on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 07:17:01 PM EST
    means only that there were no public fights.

    I suspect that the goings-on leading to the unified approach that succeeded will one day be part of a good book.  Meanwhile, we have advances through the ACA ... or we have what the Repubs have or have not proposed.  What are the everyday effects for real people!

    Remember that the late Senator Kennedy had one major regret about his noteworthy fight for healthcare reform: That he didn't agree to a compromise.


    The compromise that Kennedy turned down (5.00 / 2) (#177)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 07:29:07 PM EST
    was more progressive than Obama's insurance legislation.

    You do have a point, while similar to the Republican's 1990s proposal, this legislation is better than what the Republicans are proposing now.  


    I am all for compromise... (5.00 / 4) (#178)
    by vml68 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 07:36:15 PM EST
    BUT, you first have to start by asking for the best there is.

    If I am starving, I ask for a full meal and maybe get negotiated down to a couple of sides. If I only ask for sides, I will probably just get table scraps. Sure, I will end up with something in my stomach but it won't do much for my hunger.
    Not the best analogy, but I'm sure you get my drift.


    Christine, there has been polarization (5.00 / 5) (#181)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 09:52:14 PM EST
    between liberals and conservatives on this issue for at least two decades. And disagreements have often been due to personal distaste for whomever was promoting the policy. Obama got unbridled vitriol from Republicans, even though he never fought for a public option. Not even behind the scenes. That's not fantasy. I know for a fact that my congressman, McDermott -- a longtime, fervent proponent of single payer -- was disgusted/pi$$ed off by the way the progressive caucus was treated by the president. There was no behind the scenes lobbying by Obama for a public option. Grijalva's group in the House were the ones lobbying and summarily getting dismissed.

    I understand all about the give-and-take of making policy. I'm pretty sure everyone on this blog understands it. And I'm not saying "scrap the ACA." There are some good things about it, and lots more people are getting coverage now. There are also people who have suffered financially from plans being cancelled, and having to replace with subpar plans that are either more expensive, or don't include their trusted personal physicians and hospitals. Before she left the blog, TheresainSnow2 was very detailed about her experience with losing doctors and her go-to hospital when she had to look for new insurance through the exchange. She opted to stay out of the exchange and get private insurance, but even then, it was not near what she had before, and she is having to pay a higher premium. I enrolled through the exchange and, while I'm not going to get into specifics about my situation, I lost access to  the doctor, nurse practitioner, and clinic I'd been going to for the past six years. These were medical professionals I trusted implicitly. Am I glad to be covered with insurance? Of course. However, I do not feel the trust and comfort with where I have to go for care now, and I don't have any alternative because of financial constraints.

    Politics is a great game for those who win, or for those who don't have any skin in the game to begin with.


    I don't know if you are talking about me... (5.00 / 8) (#163)
    by vml68 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 02:02:25 PM EST
    I also know that there are those who resist/resent "giving" their money to those who otherwise would not have been able to afford any coverage (see expanded Medicaid) ... a few comments have been made in this thread to that effect ...

    If you are, my resentment comes from the fact that there were much better ways to provide health care(single payer, for one) for everyone. I am very much for it and would not at all resent contributing more if that were the case.
    Narrow networks with limited hospitals/doctors is not my idea of great health care.

    I have mentioned this before but in case you did not read it, just for you.
    I terminated a pregnancy at 19 weeks. It was a tough decision. But, I was able to make it and be at peace with it because I had access to some of the best doctors and hospitals. I did not have to wonder if I was getting a reliable diagnosis. I also had the option to get second and third opinions. I got to have my termination at a hospital with compassionate nurses and doctors at a cost of $0.

    Because of this experience, I got to talk to many women who made the same decision. Many of them were tormented because they had to make this decision with limited information and because they could not afford 2nd and 3rd opinions. Quite a few of them had to go to planned parenthood or other abortion clinics for their termination. Can you guess at the kind of experiences they had before they even got in the door?

    I also had a miscarriage in which I was hemorrhaging so badly that I passed out and ended up in the emergency room. My cost for that was a $100 copay. I know women who had similar situations and have bills for a few thousand dollars because they did not have very good insurance coverage.
    I am only mentioning the kind of experiences women who live in the NE have had. I won't even go into the experiences shared with me of women in the Midwest or deep south, that is a whole other level of messed up.
    As far as I am concerned, it is a travesty for this to be happening in this country.

    Now, if everyone or atleast almost everyone can get that kind of or even somewhat close to the kind of coverage/care I got (no matter what the issue/illness is), I say go ahead and increase my premiums. It will be well worth it. And, you will not hear me complain. As it stands, I see my premium increase as a bonus to health insurance companies and nothing else.

    Sometimes, when I read your posts, I feel like it is a version of "be grateful that you are getting kicked in the stomach now, because before you were getting kicked in the head".


    Yes (none / 0) (#150)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 12:04:36 PM EST
    I also posted a link that said as much. The last paragraph in a pretty informative piece from Phill.com

    Finally, the enrollment numbers from the ACA's first year need to be taken in perspective.  They will represent what happened in the first six months (October through March) of the first year of the ACA's first-ever open enrollment period.  We really won't know how well the law is doing for another two, three, or four, enrollment periods.  Be skeptical of anyone who declares the law to be a resounding success or failure based on the initial numbers, because like any baseball fan knows, you can't predict how your team will do for the season based on the score in the first inning of Opening Day.


    Rates now are likely to get worse (none / 0) (#189)
    by Mikado Cat on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:31:30 AM EST
    Based on optimistic enrollment demographics, until a cycle of a year or so is complete and the cost of the actual demographics worked into the system the true cost of insurance won't be known.

    Nature of the insurance beast (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:38:53 AM EST
    Rates increased annually long before ACA came into existence.

    If you want truly affordable health care, you and your Republicans cohorts need to demand a single payer system that eliminates the health insurance industry.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 299 (none / 0) (#154)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 12:27:40 PM EST
    ABC News' Jim Avila was all aflutter ... (none / 0) (#168)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 03:15:56 PM EST
    ... this morning, asking White House Press Secretary Jay Carney whether Barack Obama's presidency and dignity was somehow damaged by his appearance on FunnyorDie.com's "Between Two Ferns" yesterday with actor Zach Galafianakis.

    One wonders whether Avila or any other members of the White House press corp sought to pose the same concerns to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell regarding his appearance at the CPAC conference last week, when he strode onto the rostrum waving a flintlock rifle high in the air, yelling at liberal Democrats to get off his lawn.

    And since everyone's dignity is being affronted, perhaps that same press corps should invite Oscar winner Cate Blanchett to Washington next week, so she can ask Carney who she has to f*** around here to get a Stoli martini with a lemon twist.


    Meanwhile (none / 0) (#184)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:12:22 PM EST
    Venezuela is a mess.

    And it's been a long time coming.

    Not a good start for Dems (none / 0) (#191)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:57:53 AM EST
    In this election year:

    The Florida special election Tuesday was supposed to be an ideal chance for Democrats to show that 2014 isn't a lost year. Instead, they were dealt another body blow, further weakening their prospects for this year's midterms.

    Democrats couldn't have asked for a more golden opportunity.

    They had the right candidate matchup: Alex Sink, a respected former statewide official who nearly won the governorship in 2010, up against a former lobbyist, Republican David Jolly. They had the right district: A swing region of Florida that appeared poised to elect a Democrat after more than four decades of GOP representation. And they certainly had the money: In a year of staggering GOP spending, Sink far outraised her opponent and got nearly $4 million in help from outside Democratic groups.

    In the end, it wasn't enough. Jolly won by 3,456 votes. And he did it by playing a hand Republicans across the country are expected to follow: Run as an opponent to the president's unpopular health care law and the Democrat as for it.

    More (none / 0) (#192)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:59:25 AM EST
    Florida's 13th District is, in many ways, the archetype of the kind of seat Democrats need to win if they're serious about erasing their 17-seat House deficit anytime soon. Its electorate is older, overwhelmingly white, and politically moderate -- in other words, the kind of people who dominate many of the swing congressional districts across the country.

    In fact, the district should have been one of the Democratic Party's most winnable targets. Of the 37 GOP-held seats that the Cook Political Report ranks as the most vulnerable to Democratic takeover, only 11 are more Democratic-friendly than Florida's 13th. The district has just a narrow GOP registration edge.

    "If the Democrats can't win with their former gubernatorial candidate with 100 percent name ID, where are they going to win?" asked Guy Harrison, a former National Republican Congressional Committee executive director. "When the Democrats look at their playing field, they don't have too many better seats to target. They don't have too much of a prayer for winning the majority."

    Meaningless (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:53:38 AM EST
    The GOP has won that seat continuously since 1954.

    Here are the last few Congressional elections from there:

    2006  GOP +31
    2008  GOP +21
    2010  GOP +32
    2012  GOP +15

    Note the two lowest of the last 4 were presidential election years when the Dems turn out and the GOP still won the seat in a cakewalk.


    The 13th District loss by Sink (none / 0) (#202)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:48:44 AM EST
    Is not "meaningless" as CG wrote.  No one thinks so - no Democratic operatives, no experts, no pundits -  no one.  Obama won the district, Sink had more money, more name recognition, and Jolly won it by moving to the right and running against Obamacare.

    The only one who considers it "meaningless" is you CG.

    When even (none / 0) (#204)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:54:38 AM EST
    HuffPo and EJ Dionne say the Sink loss is a bad harbinger for Dems, you know you can't dismiss it in spin.

    Paging kdog! (none / 0) (#205)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:52:39 PM EST
    Looks like your mascot isn't swinging his bat like he used to, if you know what I mean.

    Multiple Baseball Mascots Claim To Have Affairs With Mrs. Met